Press Releases

Junior Achievement of San Diego Partners with Mission Federal Credit Union to Launch the Mission Fed Finance Park

November 06, 2014

SAN DIEGO, Calif. - Junior Achievement of San Diego and Mission Federal Credit Union announced a new partnership to launch Mission Fed JA Finance Park.  JA Finance Park will help thousands of San Diego teens, young adults and families learn how to make intelligent financial decisions that will last a lifetime including a classroom curriculum and a one-day experience to Mission Fed JA Finance Park. 

 In the Park students choose a job and company representing a real San Diego business.  They apply what they learned in the classroom by creating a family budget based on a hypothetical life situation.  This will a high-touch high-tech facility where students will use state of the art technology to help teach them how to research and make the best choices for their “family” based on their “income”. 

 Established in 2003, JA Finance Park is one of Junior Achievement’s most successful programs, and more than 1 million students across the United States have gone through the hands-on program since it first began.  

“JA Finance Park has been in our plans since we opened McGrath Family JA BizTown in 2006”   said Joanne Pastula, President and CEO of Junior Achievement of San Diego County.  “Our friends at Mission Federal Credit Union have helped to make this dream a reality with their generous gift of $1 million dollars to get construction started.”   Construction for Mission Fed JA Finance Park will begin in December at the Capdevilla Gillespie Center for Junior Achievement located on Mission Gorge Place. 

Our high school students are more tech savvy than ever.  In fact, 44 percent of millennials look at their phones more than six times an hour.  Incorporating technology into students’ learning will be an important component of the new digital curriculum. It is intended to help them make better connections between what they learn in school and how to apply it in the real world.

“One of the ways Mission Fed gives back to the community is through our commitment to financial education,” said Angie Lasagna, Vice President of Community Relations for Mission Fed. “High schools aren’t always able to offer the types of economics courses that help students learn to budget their money. That is where Mission Fed JA Finance Park can play a key role.  We want to do our part to help high school students gain the skills they’ll need to manage their money and reach their goals as confident, successful members of the community, and we hope to do this for Mission Fed JA Finance Park in perpetuity.”

“We are so thankful to Mission Fed, Laurie & Carlee McGrath, our generous JA Board and staff who have all personally given and corporate and family foundations for making Mission Fed JA Finance Park a reality,” said Martha Phillips, Project Manager for Junior Achievement of San Diego. “Thanks to everyone who envisions this project as a vital community asset, helping San Diego teens, young adults, families and immigrants for a lifetime of financial success.”

Watch a video about the new JA Finance Park program:


About Junior Achievement of San Diego’s Mission Fed JA Finance Park:

Mission Fed JA Finance Park is the evolution of the McGrath Family JA BizTown program, where 5th grade students learn how to work as adults in a simulated business community.  JA Finance Park prepares students to begin to plan their next steps after high school. Mission Fed JA Finance Park gives local companies the chance to make a positive, lasting impression on students as they are preparing for their adult lives after high school.  For additional information, please visit


About Junior Achievement of San Diego County:

Junior Achievement of San Diego works locally to impact 53,000 students in K-12 classrooms each year.  Junior Achievement’s volunteer-based programs teach kids how to get a job, start a business and how money works. For more information on programs in San Diego and Imperial Counties, please visit

 About Mission Federal Credit Union:

Mission Federal Credit Union is a not-for-profit organization providing a wide variety of financial services to meet the needs of its customers.  With more than $2.5 billion in assets, over 25 local branches, and more than 174,000 members, Mission Fed is the largest, locally based credit union exclusively serving San Diego County.  Mission Fed enhances the lives of its customers through financial education and financial services.  In addition, Mission Fed contributes to hundreds of non-profit educational and community organizations.  At Mission Fed, your success is our bottom line.  All San Diegans are welcome. Federally insured by NCUA. To learn more, visit